Police Powers on Truancy
The police have been given powers to deal with truants. This includes returning them to school.
A police officer will need to make sufficient enquiry of the position in relation to a child to ensure that the powers are used lawfully. The officer will be permitted to use reasonable force to remove a child back to school. Where a child resists with violence, then this may amount to an offence in itself and other police powers of arrest could then be used.
Where a child has a justifiable reason for being out of school but is taken away by the police then a claim for wrongful arrest or false imprisonment might arise.
Schools, Local Authorities, the police and other community groups are increasingly working together to conduct ‘truancy sweeps’.